Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ed Ruscha: "Standard," at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Ed Ruscha, USA, Standard Station, 1966, Screenprint 
Ed Ruscha, USA, Hollywood, 1968, Screenprint

"Ed Ruscha's influence can be seen in graphic design, cinema, architectural theory, and urban history. His art depicts everyday objects – gas stations, street signs, billboards, commercial packaging – yet often triggers philosophical reflection about the relationship between words, things, and ideas. The word “standard” is a case in point: it can be a banner or rallying point, an established level of quality, and an oil company’s brand name. In his depictions of Standard stations, Ruscha points to each of these definitions and more. LACMA's collection includes more than 300 works by Ruscha." LA County Museum Website

This current exhibition will run until 1/21/2013, with a film & a lecture about the show happening on Friday, 10/26 in LACMA's Bing Theater at 7:30 PM. Titled, The Intersection of Art & Film, the lecture includes Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, film historian, critic & curator Elvis Mitchell, and Britt Salvesen, LACMA curator and department head of prints and drawings, for a discussion about the interplay of art and film in conjunction with the exhibition. A screening of Ed Ruscha’s short films Premium (1971/24 min.) and Miracle (1975/28 min.) will follow.

The cost is $14 for students with valid student ID's; for tickets call: 323 857-6010 or purchase online from the Museum's website.

Dirk Hagner at the L.A. Print Fair

“Dirk Hagner’s large scale woodcuts have long addressed his interest in artists, poets, writers, and actors – always with some very personal fascination. These people are celebrities – although, some are rather obscure. There is inherent romanticism in Hagner’s work, which, perhaps, is not surprising for an heir of German expressionism: Hagner believes in magic. He subscribes to the moment of illumination – or transcendence – when a work of art gets inside of you, and you feel euphoric. It would be a mistake to perceive Hagner’s homage’s as analogous to Warhol’s celebrity worship. One of Hagner’s portraits in this show is of German printmaker Horst Janssen; Hagner’s interest as an artist is akin to a man’s interest in his forebears.” - Christopher Michno

Area artist Dirk Hagner will be both presenting his work and giving two talks about his imagery at the LA Printers Fair, in the International Printing Museum's Front Gallery at 11am and 2pm on October 6, 2012. Other work may also be seen at his booth, #B50. The address is 315 West Torrance Blvd., Carson, CA. The phone number (should you need further information on the fair) is: 310/515-7166.

You can purchase tickets on-line for the fair, by using Paypal & going to The fair will run from 9 - 5 PM, & is a one day only affair, and tickets cost $6.00. Their web-site recommends parking across the street in the K-Mart shopping center lot. Hopefully, they've worked this out in advance with K-Mart.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oscar Cueto - "Solitude," Walter Maciel Gallery

This exhibition closes on 10/27/12. The Maciel Gallery is located at 2642 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. Hours of operation are from 11 - 6 PM, Tuesday - Saturday, call 310/839-1840 for further information. I've included a description of the watercolor color drawings by Mexico City based artist Oscar Cueto from the official Press Release.

"Oscar Cueto will present 18 small format drawings executed in watercolor and based on different symmetrical patterns and shapes found in the Rorschach psychological tests.  The stains are cleverly placed within landscapes taken from photographs of Cueto’s travels including city streets, urban parks and the ocean.  The mysterious blots become monstrous creatures that create a fantasy of terror for the impending peaceful scenery.  In one drawing a young boy is shown walking down a curvy path of a public park only to be greeted by the perfectly placed Rorschach monster.  Depending on how the blot is interpreted, it looks both like a tree (in keeping with the surrounding forest) and a grotesque beast with flailing arms and feet.  In another drawing the Rorschach stain is placed above the horizon line of the ocean appearing like a bat flying into the moody sky.  In all of the drawings, the psychology of the ink blot forms is reversed as they themselves become the horror that impends on the otherwise serene and peaceful quality of each landscape.  The series continues Cueto’s morose fascination with American horror films and their celebrity subjects as well as the demented capabilities of the human mind all within a humorous intent."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

James Whistler, LA County Museum of Art

James Whistler, USA - A Review by Kris Westreich

 Nocturne - Palaces, etching, 1879
The prints in this exhibition were wonderful. They allowed the viewer to trace his artistic development through his etchings. At the beginning, things were tightly rendered and detail-filled. Towards the end, the prints tend to describe through suggestion rather than detail. One thing I saw that I never considered was the way Whistler used the plate tone to establish value. He will leave more plate tone in an area that he wants to be darker and wipe out others that he wants to be lighter. In this way he challenges the idea of a print having to be exactly the same each time. My two favorites of the exhibition were “Nocturne: Palaces” and “Weary.” They both tend to put more detail in certain parts of the print, and leave others as merely outlines or as indications rather than full-blown descriptions.  Some of them almost approach an abstract emptiness, such as in “Old Battersea” bridge. Of course, the draftsmanship present is also very accomplished in these etchings.

Under Old Battersea Bridge, etching and drypoint, 1879

The German Woodcut: Renaissance and Expressionist Revival

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Geramny, 1909, Woodcut, Bathers Tossing Reeds

May 5, 2012–September 9, 2012, LA County Museum of Art
A Review by Kris Westreich

I thought this exhibition was particularly successful. Not only was the quality of the work superb, but also the way they displayed it demonstrated the distinctly German characteristics of these modern artists. By displaying those prints next to German Renaissance artists, the exhibition links together the traditions of the medium across generations. I was particularly taken with Kirchner's prints Bathers Tossing Reeds and Portrait of Ludwig Schames as well as the Kollwitz prints.

Hans Baldung Grien, Germany, Woodcut, 1534, Stallion and Kicking Mare with Wild Horses

Technically, it was interesting to note the difference between the modern and renaissance artists. The old master prints tend to lean more towards chiaroscuro and graduated value distribution. In order to achieve that, the artists had to work on minute details, such as in Stallion and Kicking Mare with Wild Horses by Hans Baldung Grien.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Character and Crisis - Printmaking in America: 1920 - 1950

Reginald Marsh, USA, 1932, Etching, Bread Line

This historical exhibition is running at the San Diego Museum of Art, 5998 Alcalá Park, until 12/14/12. Located in the Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries, the exhibition is free of charge, and also features the work of Edward Hopper. Call 619/260-4545 for hours of operation and other information.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Photo of Alex Gardner's ink drawing by Mariya Suzuki

Alex Petty is currently using skin as a canvas in San Francisco, as may be deduced from this drawing.
Barefeet - A Drawing Show is currently up in Long Beach at the laid back vino bar, 4th Street Vine, 2142 East 4th Street. The exhibition, curated by my former student Mariya Suzuki, features a roster of other artists, & includes her drawings of area stores & their respective merchandise. I've included photos of work by Alex Gardner & Alex Petty, who I was also fortunate enough to have had in my class/es. The work will grace the brick walls until 10/18, but I imagine that the venue doesn't open until later in the day.

Santa Monica Auctions, located currently in the B-7 & C-2 spaces in Bergamot Station allegedly has some handsome James Rosenquist prints currently on view. I'm not certain of the screenprint above, titled For the Young Artist (1991), being one of them, but word in the studio is that there are some impressively large prints on display. The phone number to call for further information is: 310/586-9128, & the address is 2525 Michigan Avenue.
I've included one of the past highlights from the last auction, Andy Warhol's Mao, a screenprint from 1972. Apparently, the auction coming up on 11/12 will be their last one in this space, as the "C" building is being demolished to make way for the Metro train line.
Above image - Helen Frankenthaler, Tales of Genji VI, woodcut, 1997

Several prints are currently on display in New Acquisitions, a show at Leslie Sacks Fine Arts, 11640 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles. Along with Helen Frankenthaler, at least a couple of David Hockney works are also on display. One is a highly chromatic lithograph - "depicting a hotel he stopped at in Mexico, Hotel Acatlan: Second Day, that’s housed in a hand-made frame designed by the artist; and another of his muse Celia Birtwell, Big Celia Print #1. " The latter print can also be seen by appt., in the Special Collections room of the CSULB library.
This exhibition closes in just a few days (on 9/24), and is open from 10 - 6PM, Monday through Saturday. For more info, call 310/820-9448.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Zarina - Paper Like Skin," opens at The Hammer Museum, 9/30

Above, a relief print from 1970, matrix collaged wood

Zarina: Paper Like Skin is the first retrospective of the Indian-born American artist Zarina, featuring approximately 60 works dating from 1961 to the present. Paper is central to Zarina’s practice, both as a surface to print on and as a material with its own properties and history. Works in the exhibition include woodcuts as well as three-dimensional casts in paper pulp. Zarina’s vocabulary is minimal yet rich in associations with her life and the themes of displacement and exile. The concept of home—whether personal, geographic, national, spiritual, or familial—resonates throughout her oeuvre. Organized by Allegra Pesenti, curator, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts.

This exhibition of prints & works made of paper will continue at the Hammer until 12/30/12, with "A Conversation with Zarina" to take place at 2:00 PM in the gallery on the day of the opening, 9/30. Free to students with an ID, the Hammer is located in Westwood, at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., 310/443-7000. Hours are Tues. - Fri., 11 - 8PM & weekends, 11 - 5PM.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Linda Day: "Swimming in Paint" and Patrick Wilson: "Pull"

Above - Linda Day's studio space.

These two tandem exhibitions at the UAM beautifully complement each other, in terms of abstraction and color certainly, but also in terms of materiality & perception. If I were to make a musical analogy, Wilson's cool and structural offerings would be akin to David Hykes' harmonic investigations, especially in terms of layering form and structure. Linda's presence is so strongly in her work, as Chris Miles observed, " the bit-streams, blobs, piles and upwellings; and in the stray words that turn up in her last works - I realize that as Day transubstantiated being into painting, she always had a goal of freshly addressing something with which she grappled." 

There are a number of works on paper or Duralar - in Linda's work, mainly in terms of gouache and pencil, whereas Patrick Wilson used screen-printing in a group titled: Suite for Mt. Washington, from 2007. When we (printmakers) physically make a print, especially a screen-print, we call it "pulling" an edition, and I couldn't help but wonder if that term influenced the description of his painterly investigations.

It was wonderful seeing so many of Linda's former students, colleagues and friends at the opening. A big shout-out to curator Kristina Newhouse for yeoman's duty in writing, organizing, & researching for both offerings. These shows run until 12/9. The University Art Museum is closed on Mondays, hours, parking and directions can be had by calling them directly at: 562/985-5761.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Narcolandia: A Visual Dialogue Between San Francisco and LA Artists

The three-run silkscreen print above is by artist John Minor

While this exhibition already opened on 9/5, the opening reception will take place on 9/15, from 6 - 10 PM. The venue is the Coagula Curatorial space located at 977 Chung King Road in Los Angeles. Two of my former students, Jennifer Gutierrez Morgan & Matt Thomason are among others representing LA. The excellent relief printmaker Txutxo Perez is one of the San Francisco faction. For further info on gallery hours, call 213/620-1569.

Agnes Denes: Body Prints, Philosophical Drawings & Map Projections, 1969 - 1978

Above image: Napoleonic Series: Investigation of World Rulers II, finger-printing ink on IBM chart with highlighted areas

This exhibition (in Project Room 2) runs from 9/15 - 12/22, with the opening reception on Friday, 9/14, from 7 - 9 PM. Admission with student ID is $3.00.

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is now located within the Bergamot Station Art Complex, G1, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Sea of Exchange: Ireland - Los Angeles

The exhibition runs from 9/18 - 11/1, with the opening on 9/19, from 5 - 8:30 PM

Pacific Design Center, Suite B 273
8687 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90069

Tuesday - Friday 12:00 - 5:00 and by appointment

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Amie Rangel's Solo Exhibition at Arts Visalia

In October of 2012, Arts Visalia will present The Whey (way) n., to Center, a major solo exhibition by artist Amie T. Rangel. This exhibition will unveil a major new group of works developed over the past year in which Rangel has explored the interior space and atmosphere of a Central California dairy facility. Rooted in the traditional practice of observational drawing, Rangel's lastest works transend representation, extending into the realm of meditative, spiritual contemplation.

In 2005 she graduated from California State University, Long Beach, with a BFA in Drawing/Painting and Printmaking (magna cum laude). She studied lithography at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, then entered the Drawing and Intermedia program at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. In 2008 she won an international award from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, as well as scholarships from the Alberta Foundation.

The opening reception is on Friday, 10/5, from 6 - 8 PM, & the show runs until 10/3 - 10/27. Arts Visalia is located at 214 East Oak Avenue, in Visalia, CA. (I'm inordinately proud to say that Amie was one of my former students. RS)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sandow Birk, Anthology - Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College is hosting an exhibition of Sandow Birk's work, with the reception this evening (Weds., 9/5/2-12)from 7 - 8:30 PM. Located at 4901 Carson Street in Long Beach, parking on campus is a modest $1.00. The gallery is otherwise open from 9 - 4 PM, Mondays through Thursdays. To find out how long the exhibition will be in place, or for other info: 562/938-4815.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gustave Klimt: The Magic of Line

This exhibition of Klimt's drawings will be up until 9/23/2012 at The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive. Parking is $15.00, so one might wish to carpool, or take a bike & mass transit. The Museum is closed Mondays, & open late (until 9 PM) on Fridays. Due to construction on the 405, check the web-site for other daily closures.
The work on the title banner is titled: Fish Blood, 1897-98, brush and black ink, black chalk, heightened with white. It is (of course) available at the Museum shop on T-Shirts, along with a  catalogue for the exhibit written by Marian Bisanz-Prakken. The former items cost $25.00, while the catalogue is $49.99.

Reoccurring Forms: The Drawings of Jamie Sweetman

Jamie Sweetman's opening reception is tonight, Tuesday 9/3/12, from 7 - 9 PM, Main Level of Biola University's Library. Biola is located at 13800 Biola Avenue, La Mirada, CA. For additional info, call 562/903-4807. The exhibition will run until 12/28/2012.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prints at the Getty Museum

Prints at the Getty, Reviewed by Lindsay McGee

     While visiting the current "Recent Prints Acquisitions" at the Getty, I was most drawn to Carl Wilhelm Kolbe the Elder's piece entitled Fantastic Oak Tree in the Woods, a nineteenth century etching/engraving. At first, I was more impressed by some of the other prints displayed, particularly one titled Light, by the French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon, namely because he is one of my favorite artists and I hadn't before realized that he worked in printmaking.
     However, upon looking at the Fantastic Oak Tree for a second time, I became absorbed by the artist's attention to detail, as well as the drawing of a landscape that depicts a single tree in the midst of an expansive forest; all rendered fairly realistically.
     In the lower right-hand corner of the print there is a man with a quiver of arrows slung on his back. The man is sitting on the ground, facing the tree, which is extremely large in comparison. He could almost go unnoticed, given his size in relation to the rest of the print and the egalitarian manner in which he and the rest of the forest are rendered; neither stealing the other's attention. I could almost imagine sitting in a secluded forest, with the quietude of nature replacing freeway static and an expansive wilderness in place of the urban landscape, which is why I chose to write about this piece. I believe the mark-making and the method chosen for this print lends itself well to the content.
     I recently saw a video of Stephen Colbert interviewing astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, during which Tyson stated: "Some of the greatest poetry is revealing to the reader the beauty in something that was so simple you had taken it for granted." Similarly, I think this print has achieved the same level of success in that Kolbe the Elder has revealed to the viewer the beauty of a simplistic scene of a forest wilderness through such a complex process and a high attentiveness to detail.

Note from RS: Carl Wilhelm Kolbe the Elder is so obscure that he doesn't merit a mention in Linda C. Hults definitive work "Prints of the Western World." He was a German artist who began his career somewhat later in life, teaching art and the French language. Because of his fascination with depicting just such trees as Lindsay notes, he was nicknamed "Eichen" (Oak) Kolbe. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review by Crystal Alexander

The Getty Research Institute: Recent Print Acquisitions
Through September 2 | The Getty Center Crystal Alexander

This show was quite lovely, very intimate; the fact that it was in the Getty Research Institute allows the observer to separate themselves from the rest of the museum and escape to a separate small dark space.  Dark blue walls give the space a cold feeling, yet the prints that adorn the space give a warmth that fills the space and eases the viewer, allowing them comfort as they navigate the space, being drawn into pieces that seem to radiate consolation.

A huge variety exists in the works displayed, from Dürer to the Bauhaus movement, with particular emphasis on Albrecht Dürer. As one is drawn in by the work, a wall filled with woodcuts cannot be avoided. At first the viewer may be overwhelmed by its large presence in the space; this feeling is only compounded by the painstaking details that make up Albrecht Dürer’s “The Life of the Virgin” series, nineteen illustrations for a book. The pages fill the wall, yet the piece; The Adoration of the Magi, (1501-02) struck me in particular.

As a Christian in America, I am extremely familiar with manger scenes at churches and on street corners during the Christmas holiday season depicting the same scene that Dürer is visually describing in this piece; however his print is quite different from the scenes that I am used to seeing. The Adoration of the Magi doesn’t feel like an addition to this world…like a series of objects simply resting in our space, his work feels like its own world, something completely foreign, yet so familiar, and comforting.

The scale is very effective; the piece is quite small, drawing the viewer in to admire the details of the master’s hand.  The Christ is the first thing that one’s eye is drawn to, followed by the Virgin and Joseph; the eye is subsequently led, (through the use of an archway) to the first of the Magi. Along this visual path, one gets their first glance at the architecture rendered in the piece.  Rather than a manger, the viewer can see the Virgin presenting her child amongst stone buildings. Grass grows from the cracks in stone, and we are exposed to a variety of textures and details, allowing us to feel the scene with our eyes. A tipping point is thus reached, and the viewer finally falls into the scene.

The Magi are meant (as the title proclaims) to adore, however the viewer adores the standing Magus. We savor the details of the headpiece he wears, and are left in awe of the skill needed to depict him with such luxury, such detail.  His exquisite hand gestures, to lead our eyes to look at the third remaining King. I am amazed at the life the master, Albrecht Dürer, is able to give to this figure, through a small series of inked lines on a paper, he summons up the ability to control our eyes, to control us.

We are lead through to the remaining Magi, from top to bottom. The lower Magi uses a feather to lead our eye up the staircase created by the ruins, where our eye can further appreciate the stunning detail of the architecture Dürer has created.  We are brought up to the heavens, to the angels by the master. We are then drawn to a small window on a tower that has stretched up to meet us, and we wonder what could be inside the window? Who it is that occupies this room? Our curiosity is left behind, as we jump to a nearby star, its rays both drawing us in and lead us back down, to a thatched wooded structure that covers the Magi. Finally, we exit the composition on the lower left side, greeting a dog on our way out.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Review of Camilla Taylor Exhibition by Jesse Cook

Jesse Cook
Exhibition Review
I was excited to visit the opening of Camilla Taylor's show at the Art Walk of downtown Santa Ana on none other than Cinco de Mayo, 2012.  I'd been to the Santora art building there before and had enjoyed the galleries showcasing the work of local artists; but I had never had the pleasure of visiting the scene during an Art Walk.

It was especially popping that night due to the holiday, and there were festivities, food, carnival rides, crafts and of course, fine art.  I visited the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) for the first time and was impressed with some of skilled works on display.

When I arrived at Taylor's show, the first thing that caught my attention was that everything in the exhibition, both the prints and the sculptural pieces, were all done in flat black colors and were all strongly related.  The "print" that first caught my eye was of a character who reminded me of a hybrid between Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum and Humpty Dumpty.  His head was egg-shaped and his extremities poured onto the floor.

The show was bustling with visitors, and a group was taking pictures next to the work. The prints were all of a large nature and done with the same tonal qualities.  Their was a strong unity to the show's theme.  The imagery was dark and the fabric sculptures looked as though some of the wall prints had come to life in three dimensions.  The sculptural pieces reminded me of flat black sofa pillows that had grown four spiderly legs and crawled into the floorspace.  One of the creatures even had shiny black buttons sewn onto the body and legs.  The creatures and the prints had a morbid quality to them.

I was interested in the show and the quality of the printwork, as well as the bustle of the art lovers and the festivities of the Art Walk.  I celebrated the holiday with my friends by ordering local carne asada tacos and Mexican "chongo" ice cream (which tastes like cinammon cake batter and is now one of my favorites).  The whole experience made for a very interesting and very festive evening out on Cinco de Mayo--one I won't soon forget.

*Note from RS - These photos of headless four-leggeds are actually ones I took during Camilla's MFA exhibition opening at CSULB. I included a shot with Carol Shaw-Sutton, who (in addition to providing Camilla with excellent guidance on her committee) helps to provide a sense of scale for the ambitious work. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review of Original Copy

ORIGINAL COPY Printmaking Exhibition, a review by Lucy Ruggirello

What can one say about the Original Copy exhibition at Cypress College other than it was great and the artworks on display were exquisite. The first work that caught my eye was by artist Zoltan Janvary. His Travel Notes: IV Statue, 2010, intaglio engraving, looks like a hollowed out face mask and shoulders lying sideways with deep dark shadows, white gridlines and highlights. The title of this work is appropriate. The sepia-toned color of the background visually reminds one of an antiquated explorer’s map. The facial expression of the mask appears serene and relaxed, as if traveling through time into another dimension without any specific destination.

I was truly in awe at the amazing detail in this work and what seemed like millions of tiny lines which created the image. The white highlighted areas were quite dramatic and gave it an out of this world celestial overtone.

Also, I enjoyed viewing the print by artist Chris Natrop titled Dewdrop Reflex – pink (ed of 7), 2008, silkscreen print with colored ink & iridescent medium.

This artwork definitely has more of a feminine feel being pink with iridescent sparkles throughout. The varying shades of pink and overlaying effect give it depth, a three dimensional quality that appears both delicate and tough. Its title reads Dewdrop Reflex but the image strongly resembles an insect or a butterfly or some kind of sea creature.

Artist Wayne Kimball’s lithograph titled Two Seriously Diseased Feet, 1995, was also very interesting.

The transition of color on the feet from blue-green to pink-purple to a yellow-gold aesthetically achieves the description of “diseased.” I’m reminded of a nasty bruise that turns different colors during its process of healing. However this image does not seem to be about healing but of the broken up and severed pieces of people’s lives. Perhaps more about people who have become hardened and disillusioned by their daily struggles? The composition of this work really fascinates me. I’m not sure about the message the artist desired to convey. I have to wonder if the artist’s depiction of diseased feet implies an overall reflection of the state of the unseen portion of the statue which is non-existent. And why would one place feet on a cold, stone platform? Whatever this artist’s inspiration was, it certainly makes one think. I really love this piece.

I very much enjoyed attending the opening of the Original Copy Exhibit as it was well executed with examples of a variety of printmaking techniques. It was also quite informative. Once again, the artworks on display were really superb.

Note from RS - The "Diseased Feet" appear to be standing on litho stones.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Company I'm Keeping

My sincere hope is that these images by Wayne Kimball (severed feet on plinth); Zoltan Janvary (severed, yet serenely floating head); & Chris Natrop (Dewdrop Reflex - Moss) will entice at least a few of you to venture into Orange County on a Thursday night. I can't vouch that all or any of these exact prints will be on display, but I'm certain that whatever is on the walls will be equally extraordinary.

Collagraph Prints, 3 Variations on a Theme

The work addresses the issue of a disconnect from nature, essentially remaking the natural world in our own image, taming it and subjecting it to the strict modern grid. The bear has been completely removed from its element and placed in an environment in which even organic objects are scripted and alienated. The background grid represents the bars of a cage, but also the rigid rubric of Euclidean city planning. Even the color palette serves to disassociate the natural objects from the earthtones they usually evoke. The third large piece gives the impression of footsteps imprinted in soft earth, but around the edges begins to glow with a nearly neon aura, further separating the natural and man-made.

I think that if the elements from the "Vinita Voogd method" collages were applied to the larger prints, the architectural lines found in the collage would further contrast the organic shapes. The overall appearence is very illustrative and playful in a kind of fairy tale way. The foreground is whimsical but the background is austere, as if trying to reconcile the world of childhood with the world of adulthood. In one world, the bear is not yet ferocious, but a kind of imaginary friend, gentle and intrigued by umbrellas. It is enclosed in the quilted dream bubble of youth, but faces an encounter with a more severe environment in the future. Its enclosure is pressed on every side, even invaded by a more dangerous looking shape, but it still holds against the outside.

The public symbolism of blue makes me perceive the bear as a male, although the overall composition is not distinctively masculine. This symbolism and the other themes addressed makes me think of the work of Mike Kelley, where the world of childhood and the pathetic was confronted with the depravity of adulthood.

Original Copy - Printmaking Exhibition

Just a bit hard to fathom a print room with wall to wall carpeting...Kinko's with Charles Brand Presses! Clean hands! Ah, the wonders of Photoshop.

So, here's the poster & directions for my upcoming exhibition @ Cypress College. The opening on Thursday 2/23, from 6 - 8 PM, promises to be well...a youthful blast. Chris Natrop will be screenprinting his work on T-Shirts, DJ Neil Schield from Origami Vinyl will be spinning discs, & it will be catered. I doubt that Neil Schield will be playing any of my Bollywood favs ("Tunak, Tunak Tunak"; "Ha La La La"; or "Pappu Can't Dance") but a gal can wish upon a Bhangra star!

While I'm representing the woodcut end of things, Wayne Kimball's incredible tour de force lithographic color prints will also be on display. Chris Natrop's holding down the screenprinting court & Zoltan Janvary's intaglio prints cover that medium. At least 2 of us should be about, along with curator Carleton Christie. Rumor has it that Wayne might be there?

Happy Belated Valentine's Day & year of the Black H20 dragon (my year)!

(I'm now on twitter @ RoxSexauer, should you wish to follow my terse 140 character posts).
Hope to see at least a few folks "in the house" they say.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California

Pacific Standard Time brings us Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California, an exhibition dedicated to the growth and rise of printmaking from the 1950’s on. While there are many forerunners involved, Proof pays homage to June Wayne, American printmaker and founder of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. Tamarind is recognized for establishing a renaissance in printmaking and the graphic arts amongst the 20th century American avant-garde. Wayne hoped to create a pool of master artisan printers in the United States who would legitimize all forms of printmaking as valuable approaches to art making. Proof is a powerful reminder of the impact works on paper truly possess. Printmaking may often be seen as a traditionalist art form but it has only begun to breach the surface of contemporary art.

Proof highlights contemporary printmaking artists but also illustrates the didactic principles of process deeply rooted in printmaking. Tamarind in particular is noted for its emphasis of the workshop institution with an artist and printer training program, as well as educational outreach that emphasized the nature of printed work. It insisted the advantages of collaboration: a trained printer did the printing, while the artist was responsible for the creative impulse. Although this approach if often used, Stanley William Hayter of Atelier 17, NYC, will blur the boundaries when he begins teaching artists how to print their own work. These dichotomies will remain consistent in printmaking even into the present, where we see print workshops like Gemini G.E.L or Crown Point Press producing works by Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra and John Baldessari.

It is delightfully shocking to observe the then controversial lithograph from Bruce Conner titled Cancellation, 1969. In this lithograph, the artist wanted to edition a “cancelled” stone. In printmaking, once a matrix has been cancelled it is not to be printed again. Ironically, when Conner was met with opposition from the master printer at Tamarind, June Wayne stepped in an argued that she was amused by the concept and that the stone was to be editioned regardless. She believed in Conner’s vision in pushing printmaking to a conceptual level: the context of the art became the idea, thus, the print became concept.

Proof embodies the sophistication and grandeur of the graphic arts. There is something to be said for the presence this exhibition fronts. Sink your jaws into velvety aquatints or visceral mark making. For any print enthusiast who wants to rekindle their love for works on paper: this is an exhibition not to be missed. Proof will be on exhibit at the Norton Simon Museum until April 2, 2012.

By: Lindsay Buchman